All posts in history

April Fools day image

It took my lazy bank holiday brain a few seconds to realise that the article promoting Virgin’s introduction of glass-bottomed planes was in fact a hilarious April Fools’ jape.

Cue instant flashback to secondary school, where the morning of April 1st was spent in fear of humiliation at the hands of merciless 5th years (I believe they’re called Year 11’s nowadays. #showingmyage).

These days, falling momentarily for a media deception does not fill me with the same sense of fear, but I am still deeply lacking in April Fools’ Day spirit.

April Fools’ Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, April 1st is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. Funny.

In Italy, France and Belgium, children and adults traditionally tack paper fishes on each other’s back as a trick and shout “April fish!” in their local languages….so, let’s face it Rumblechatters, it could be worse. I’m thinking that joke would wear thin pretty quickly.

So, did you fall for any seasonal pranks this year? As you know, Rumblechat are all about the digital world, so we were delighted to spot some virtual corkers:

• Google were feeling particularly mischievous, announcing that Youtube has actually been an 8 year competition to choose the best video of all time and the site is now ready to announce the winner and shut down. Google also announced the launch of Google Nose, providing smells for whatever you type into the search engine – just bring your nose close to the screen, press enter and inhale.
• Google were clearly on a roll as they also turned Google Maps into pirate treasure maps for the day – tee hee.
• Twitter announced that they were going to start charging tweeters to use vowels, but wouldn’t charge for consonants or ‘y’s.
• Mumsnet offered a one day course (1/04/2013) on the theory and practice of vajazzling
• Hotels.com ran an advert in the express offering overnight stays at Buckingham Palace

…and so the mirth continued. Did any such jests have you suckered / rolling in the aisles? If so, please do share.

My favourite story of all this bank holiday was the one about Freddie Mercury smuggling Princess Diana, disguised as a man, into a gay club…unbelievably, it turns out this one’s true!

This morning I was privy to a conversation in Tesco Express that got me thinking. An older generation lady (for the purposes of this blog, let’s call her Elsie; she looked like an Elsie…or maybe a Hilda) was ranting (entirely good-naturedly) to the slightly bewildered cashier, about what the world was coming to, after said cashier informed her that they didn’t sell raisins, sultanas and dried fruit peel.
No prizes for guessing what Elsie’s making. Other customers gazed in bewilderment at this rare sighting of an actual real-life hot-cross- bun-maker. So, Rumblechatters, where do you sit in the make-your-own versus buy-them-in debate? And are you well informed as to the origin of this yummy food tradition?

I’d always blithely assumed that the origin of the hot cross bun was fairly clear cut – a Christian tradition celebrating the end of lent, utilising lots of tasty, forbidden by lent ingredients to make a yummy cake/bread cross-breed, stamped with the cross of crucifixion. In my head this was going to be a quick one – bit of history, bit of religion…job done. But no my friends, it appears that there is far more to the humble hot cross bun than meets the eye.

Did you know, for example, that way before the Christians staked their claim to the HCB, Pagans were merrily worshipping their goddess Eostre (after whom Easter was named), by serving up tiny, fruity, cakes, often decorated with a cross at their annual spring festivals.

The English word ‘bun’ evolved from the Greek ‘boun’, which was used to describe a ceremonial cake of circular or crescent shape, made of flour and honey and offered as a periodical thank you to the gods.

Superstitions regarding bread baked on Good Friday date back to pre-christian times, when people believed that bread baked on this day could be hardened in the oven and kept all year to protect houses from fires, sailors from shipwrecks and crops from perishing

So, given that the humble HCB is not actually that humble, imbibed as it is in a steep tradition of religion, history and culture, should more of us take a leaf out of Elsie’s book and get Good-Friday-Baking…or is this just another example of a time-consuming tradition best circumnavigated the modern way – by buying one and getting one free in a supermarket?

Don’t even get me started on the Easter Bunny!